Shortcut to Paradise...

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Chapter 10:

It was midnight when he heard the screams. Luca awakes with a start, from the drawn curtains he sees the glow of fire light. Opening the curtains, he sees the entire compound is a blaze, below are men with torches throwing them onto the roof of the buildings. Luca gets up and grabs his sword belt and buckles it into place.

As he makes it down the stairs his master runs over to him. “Luca get out of here, there are men coming for you. Go down that hall and climb the fence keep running west. Go now.” Luca heard people, his guards being cut down outside the building. Luca runs away stepping out of the building a man in all black gear with his face covered blocks his path.

Luca ran full speed, he ducks under the man’s sword swing, using his sword handle he drives it into the mans face. Send him back a few feet give Luca time to draw his sword, mid draw his opponent runs into his swing. Luca draws his sword out of the man’s torso and keeps on his path, hoping over the low garden fence, he looks back and sees his men being overwhelmed.

Luca runs and runs, he eventually comes to the meadow a mile away from the compound. Six men with torches step in front of him. Luca draws his sword and turns in a circle, one man with a wooden club comes at him first.

The man raises the club and as he is going to bring it down an arrow goes into his neck. Luca doesn’t stop to ask questions. The next attack is inches from him he uses his scabbard to block his enemies slash. Luca gets his short sword out and parries the mans next attack, sinking his blade into the man’s back, Luca blocks the next strike but as he does the point of a man’s sword stabs into his skin. Luca runs his blade across his stabbers throat. Blood drenches Luca’s front, the blade that pierced his bicep is pull out, he has never felt something so painful. Still outnumbered 3-1 Luca hold his short sword in his right hand.

His enemies move closer, Luca gets ready to strike and another arrow sails into the head of the middle attacker. Luca charges, he crosses blades with a man for several minutes. He takes a nasty cut on his leg, undeterred Luca slides his blade under his enemies rib cage. He didn’t notice the sounds of other blade clashing but Luca hears it now, unfortunately his energy is spent and all he can do is kneel down.

“Prince Lucas are you okay?” A person pulls Luca to his feet and helps him move, at the end of the meadow he climbs onto a horse.

The sun wakes Luca up, he lays on a rough mattress and his head feels bandaged. He feels around and his leg and shoulder are also stitched up. “You took a nasty hit” Luca looks up and to his surprise he sees Ezra.

“You, you saved me why?” Ezra doesn’t answer him, instead he says.

“You were horrible in that fight did you not remember any of your training” Luca repeats his question.

“Why did you save me?”

“I heard the news in a brothel a few villages away, on the way here because of a hunch I saw dozens of men getting in position around the compound right before sunset and you know the rest.” Luca is still confused.

“What news did you hear?” Ezra suddenly looked uncomfortable.

“Shit, I thought you might know, it spread all over the country, your sister is pregnant those men were probably sent to kill you by her husband or someone who doesn’t want you on the throne. Without you alive your sister’s child would be the next one to ascend.” Luca stood up and felt the stitches in his leg screaming.

“Easy asshole, you have only been out for three days you still need time to heal.” Luca picked up his sword.

“I have to save my sister, she needs me, I am going to kill that man for laying a hand on her.” Ezra pushed him back on the bed.

“One more day and we will go, I know where we might find a way to get to him.” Luca grew curious.

“He will need to be drawn out of his island. I may know where a few of his men are, if we kill some of his high ranking and powerful men. Lord Stanley won’t have a choice but to respond to the challenge. With the war still ten months to a year away we need to do this with in the next few weeks...” says Ezra.

Luca takes a handful of painkillers Ezra hands him. Luca is livid, this man destroys his family, steals and rapes his sister. He would personally crucify Lord Stanley even if it meant Luca’s death he would make Stanly pay...

Days Later:

Cloaked and hooded Luca made his way down the street, outside of a drinking room they see a group of four men smoking opium in the in an alleyway.

“Hey losers don’t you know, opium is banned” says a smug Ezra, the group didn’t notice him leaning up against the wall. Ezra’s green dyed hair blows from the breeze he stands as if he doesn’t have a care in the world. One of the man push forward.

“And who the fuck are you kid?” Ezra stepped off the wall.

“It doesn’t matter who I am, which one of you is known as Anji the slasher?” Some of the men pull their swords.

“Who wants to know?” Ezra pulled back his cloak to show the men his two swords.

“I do” Luca meets them at the entrance of the alleyway. “I am Luca, also known as Prince Lucas, your master has a date with death, I want to challenge Anji to single combat are you him?” One of the men steps forward.

“I accept your challenge” Anji draws a long sword, Luca draws his short sword. Seeing the alley that they were in he figured it would be to his advantage to use a shorter sword. The fight began and the two warriors circled each other. Anji is really quick, he gets behind Luca, the boy must to duck down to avoid being cut down.

Anji extends his arm, Luca avoids being impaled and rolls into Anji attack Luca is about to run Anji through with his sword but Anji who is taller, drives his head into Loca’s nose. Luca flies back, his nose drips blood all over. Anji swings at Luca, who gets out of the way by taking a back step, he hold his foot out and uses Anji’s momentum to make him fly forward.

With Anji on the ground Luca waits for him to get up and he launches from his position using power from both his legs he sprints forward. In his head he counts five slashes, he blocked two of Anji’s. both men have their backs turned from the strike only Anji drops to his front as blood leaks out of him.

Two of the men with their weapons drawn charge Luca, Ezra charges towards them, he cuts right and holds the blade of his short sword upside down with his left foot planted he drives the tip of the blade into the man’s rib cage. Leaving his sword, Ezra draws his longs sword, slipping passed the fighters guard and he runs the blade along the side of the man’s neck.

“You there unless you want to die run back to Lord Stanley tell him his Brother in law awaits justice in Kyoto. Take this man’s body back to his lands and tell him I officially challenge him for the honor of my sister.” The man takes off running.

“You should fight like that all the time.” Remarks Ezra as he searches the bodies of the men.

“What are you doing?” Asks Luca disgusted.

“searching them for money” he pulls several coin purses. “See we can get a feather bed tonight and some meat” Luca looks at his companion,

“Is that all you think about, the way you carry on about food you sound like my sister.” Ezra shrugged his shoulders.

They begin to walk down the street leaving the bodies of their slain enemies in the alleyway. “Well it’s easy to turn your nose up at food when you have always had enough to have your fill, for guys like me most of them fight to fill their stomachs, if you are to lead that might be something you would want to remember. I man will do unforgivable things for a loaf of bread if he is hungry enough...”

Luca bit into the piece of BBQ pork on his plate and felt himself again getting angry thinking about Mel, ‘wherever you are sister know that I am coming for you...’

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